Category Archives: Books & Articles

What Darwin and Turing Missed

In a recent article for The Atlantic, the philosopher Daniel C. Dennett compares the work of computer pioneer Alan Turing to Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection. What both Darwin and Turing realized, argues Dennett, was that the operations of any complex system can be reduced to the apparently mindless repetition of its individual […]

Soviet Russia’s “New Generation”

The American Scholar has published an English translation of “The New Generation,” a short story by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn that is part of a new collection of the author’s works, Apricot Jam, and Other Stories (Counterpoint, 2011). Set in the 1920s and early 30s, the story recounts the parallel experiences of Anatoly Pavlovich Vozdvizhensky, an engineer […]

West Berlin Was Nearly Sold Out, 1961/62

Based on recently declassified documents, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reports that West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer secretly suggested to U. S. President John F. Kennedy that they offer to give up West Berlin to East Germany in exchange for territories in Thuringia, Mecklenburg, and Saxony. The French magazine Le Point elaborates on the […]

The Moral Economy of the English Crowd, Redux

Yesterday British PM David Cameron characterized the riots that swept across England this past week as a “deep moral failure” and promised to restore a “stronger sense of morality and responsibility — in every town, in every street and in every estate.” He denied that the riots were the result of impoverishment in the face […]

Review of Simon Choat and Pierre Bouretz

Check out my long review essay on Simon Choat’s Marx Through Post-Structuralism (London, 2010) and Pierre Bouretz’ D’un ton guerrier en philosophie (Paris, 2010). Protagonists include Derrida, Habermas, Althusser, Lyotard, Deleuze, and Foucault. Excited?

Review of Rebecca Comay’s “Mourning Sickness”

See my review of Rebecca Comay’s recent book, Mourning Sickness: Hegel and the French Revolution (Stanford, 2010).